Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 08, 2014
A healthy lifestyle adds years to life
Live longer thanks to fruit, an active lifestyle, limited alcohol and no cigarettes.

Travel campaign fuels $1B rise in hospitality industry
The Obama administration's controversial travel-promotion program has generated a roughly $1 billion increase in the value of the hospitality industry and stands to benefit the US economy in the long run.

No rest for the bleary
In the first study of its kind, a team of researchers from Tel Aviv University explains why interrupted sleep can be as physically detrimental as no sleep at all.

Study examines survival following repair of failed bioprosthetic aortic valves
In an analysis of about 460 patients with failed bioprosthetic aortic valves who underwent transcatheter valve-in-valve implantation, overall survival at one year was 83 percent, with survival associated with surgical valve size and mechanism of failure, according to a study in the July 9 issue of JAMA.

Low doses of arsenic cause cancer in male mice
Mice exposed to low doses of arsenic in drinking water, similar to what some people might consume, developed lung cancer, researchers at the National Institutes of Health have found.

Collisions with robots -- without risk of injury
Teamwork between humans and robots will be the motto of the future.

Health-care worker hand hygiene rates increase three-fold when auditors visible
Hand hygiene rates were found to be three times higher when auditors were visible to health-care workers than when there were no auditors present, according to a study in a major Canadian acute care hospital.

Why people with bipolar disorder are bigger risk-takers
Researchers from the universities of Manchester and Liverpool has shown that circuits in the brain involved in pursuing and relishing rewarding experiences are more strongly activated in people with bipolar disorder -- guiding them towards riskier gambles and away from safer ones.

Survey: Many Texans eligible for subsidies from the ACA still believe coverage is too expensive
Half of Texans who are eligible for premium subsidies under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and who looked for health plans in the ACA's Health Insurance Marketplace said cost was the main reason they didn't enroll in a plan.

Wet wraps cut need for drugs in kids with eczema
One in five children in the US suffers from the painful, itchy skin condition known as eczema.

Study reveals fungus in yogurt outbreak poses a threat to consumers
The fungus responsible for an outbreak of contaminated Greek yogurt last year is not harmless after all but a strain with the ability to cause disease, according to research published in mBio, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Siblings may have a greater influence than parents on a child's obesity risk
A new report let by an investigator at the Mongan Institute for Health Policy at Massachusetts General Hospital finds that the risk associated with having an obese sibling is more than twice as great as that of having an obese parent, and that risk is even stronger among siblings of the same gender.

New research finds working memory is the key to early academic achievement
Working memory in children is linked strongly to reading and academic achievement, a new study from the University of Luxembourg and partner Universities from Brazil has shown.

CU researcher finds nurse-family partnership reduces preventable mortality
Low-income mothers and their first-born children who received home visits from nurses were less likely to die from preventable causes during a two-decade period studied by a University of Colorado School of Medicine professor, according to a report published in JAMA Pediatrics -- a leading, peer-reviewed journal of the American Medical Association.

When grassroots activism becomes a commodity
In a new book UCLA sociologist Edward T. Walker pulls back the curtain on the lucrative industry of consultants who mobilize public activism as a marketable service, and who at times use covert 'astroturf' strategies that give the false impression of a mass movement.

CU-Boulder-led team identifies fossils of tiny, unknown hedgehog
Meet perhaps the tiniest hedgehog species ever: Silvacola acares. Its roughly 52-million-year-old fossil remains were recently identified by a University of Colorado Boulder-led team working in British Columbia.

Planet Mercury a result of early hit-and-run collisions
New simulations show that Mercury and other unusually metal-rich objects in the solar system may be relics left behind by hit-and-run collisions in the early solar system.

Cosmic accounting reveals missing light crisis
Something is amiss in the Universe. There appears to be an enormous deficit of ultraviolet light in the cosmic budget.

When faced with some sugars, bacteria can be picky eaters
Researchers have found for the first time that genetically identical strains of bacteria can respond very differently to the presence of sugars and other organic molecules in the environment, with some individual bacteria devouring the sugars and others ignoring it.

Rockefeller scientists first to reconstitute the DNA 'replication fork'
While scientists have had an idea of the molecular tools that cells use to replicate DNA -- the enzymes that unzip the double-stranded DNA and create 'daughter' copies -- they did not have a clear picture of how the process works.

Safe harbor
One of the most important means of connecting with foreign countries is by sea, especially for the transport of freight.

Harmful hookahs: Many young smokers aren't aware of the danger
Despite warnings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that hookah smoking can be just as dangerous as cigarettes, many young adults believe that using the water pipes is not harmful to their health, according to a UCLA School of Nursing study.

Madagascar community association wins prestigious Equator Prize
A community association, established and supported by the Wildlife Conservation Society since 2003, and focused on improving sustainable management of marine resources in Madagascar's Antongil Bay has been awarded the Equator Prize.

Ancient hedgehog and tapir once inhabited British Columbia
A study published in the July 2014 issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology describes an ancient hedgehog and tapir that lived in what is now Driftwood Canyon Provincial Park, British Columbia, approximately 52 million years ago.

Study does not find increased risk of blood clot following HPV vaccination
Although some data has suggested a potential association between receipt of the quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccination and subsequent venous thromboembolism, an analysis that included more than 500,000 women who received the vaccine did not find an increased risk of VTE, according to a study in the July 9 issue of JAMA.

Carbon monoxide predicts 'red and dead' future of gas guzzler galaxy
Astronomers have studied the carbon monoxide in a galaxy over 12 billion light years from Earth and discovered that it's running out of gas, quite literally, and headed for a 'red and dead' future.

Elsevier Announces the launch of open access journal: New Negatives in Plant Science
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information, is pleased to announce the launch of an open access, online-only journal: New Negatives in Plant Science.

New technologies fuel patient participation and data collection in research
The changing dynamic of health studies driven by 'big data' research projects will empower patients to become active participants who provide real-time information such as symptoms, side effects and clinical outcomes, according to researchers at Duke Medicine.

Filiform needle acupuncture versus antidepressant drugs for poststroke depression
Whether acupuncture or antidepressant drugs exhibit better therapeutic effects on poststroke depression remains disputed.

UI researchers find early predictor for preeclampsia
University of Iowa researchers have discovered a biomarker that could give expecting mothers and their doctors the first simple blood test to reliably predict that a pregnant woman may develop preeclampsia, at least as early as six weeks into the pregnancy.

Spinal cord mass arising from neural stem cell therapy
A spinal mass was identified in a young woman with complete spinal cord injury eight years after she had undergone implantation of olfactory mucosal cells in the hopes of regaining sensory and motor function.

Small but plentiful: How the faintest galaxies illuminated the early universe
Light from tiny galaxies more than 13 billion years ago played a larger role than previously thought in creating the conditions in the universe as we know it today, according to a new study by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the San Diego Supercomputer Center at the University of California, San Diego.

Solar modules embedded in glass
Organic solar modules have advantages over silicon solar cells. However, one critical problem is their shorter operating life.

KAIST develops TransWall, a transparent touchable display wall
Woohun Lee, a professor of Industrial Design at KAIST, and his research team have recently developed TransWall, a two-sided, touchable, and transparent display wall that greatly enhances users' interpersonal experiences.

Brain tumor invasion along blood vessels may lead to new cancer treatments
Invading glioblastoma cells may hijack cerebral blood vessels during early stages of disease progression and damage the brain's protective barrier, a study in mice indicates.

More California gas stations can provide H2 than previously thought, Sandia study says
A study by researchers at Sandia National Laboratories concludes that a number of existing gas stations in California can safely store and dispense hydrogen, suggesting a broader network of hydrogen fueling stations may be within reach.

Virtual reality crowds produce real behavior insights
William Warren's research group is advancing virtual reality technology in the service of studying the science of the swarm: how patterns of crowd movement emerge from individual behaviors.

Treatment-resistant hypertension requires proper diagnosis
High blood pressure -- also known as hypertension -- is widespread, but treatment often fails.

VSL#3® passes consumer lab approval test for probiotics
Probiotics have gained in popularity in recent years and consumers now have many to choose from.

Recalled yogurt contained highly pathogenic mold
A sample isolated from Greek yogurt that was voluntarily recalled in September 2013 after consumers were sickened has been found to contain the most virulent form of a fungus called Mucor circinelloides, which is associated with infections in immune-compromised people.

Save, don't kill: SLU pediatrician to develop educational video game for training military physician
A game-based educational tool will train physicians on emergency room pediatric cases.

Underage drinkers heavily exposed to magazine ads for alcohol brands they consume
Underage drinkers between the ages of 18 and 20 see more magazine advertising than any other age group for the alcohol brands they consume most heavily, raising important questions about whether current alcohol self-regulatory codes concerning advertising are sufficiently protecting young people.

New app widens opportunities for dementia assessments
A team of clinicians from Plymouth, UK, and Sydney, Australia, have today launched ACEmobile -- a free-to-use app to support the assessment of dementia, worldwide.

HIV study leads to insights into deadly infection
Research led by the University of Adelaide has provided new insights into how the HIV virus greatly boosts its chances of spreading infection, and why HIV is so hard to combat.

Neuroprotective effects of low concentration of lithium
Lithium, as a neuroprotective agent, benefits for neuronal survival. Recent cDNA array studies have demonstrated that mood stabilizer lithium exhibits neuroprotective effects through multiple targets.

Variations in key gene predict cancer patients' risk for radiation-induced toxicity
Key genetic variants may affect how cancer patients respond to radiation treatments, according to a study published this week in Nature Genetics.

Damage assessment of runaway barges at Marseilles lock and dam
A disastrous domino effect occurred on April 19, 2013, when heavy rain and runoff, strong winds, and river currents resulted in seven unmoored barges crashing into the dam at Marseilles.

Transgender algae reveal evolutionary origin of sexes
Throughout evolution, living things have repeatedly developed physically distinct sexes, but how does this actually happen?

NASA's SDO spots a summer solar flare
The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 12:20 p.m.

Same genes drive maths and reading ability
Around half of the genes that influence how well a child can read also play a role in their mathematics ability, say scientists from UCL, the University of Oxford and King's College London who led a study into the genetic basis of cognitive traits.

University of Nevada, Reno continues $10 million biomedical studies for COBRE grant
Neurological research from the University of Nevada, Reno's $10 million Center of Biomedical Research Excellence grant highlights the role image-dynamics play in the brain.

Sibling composition impacts childhood obesity risk
In a new study, researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital, Cornell University, and Duke University looked at how different kinds of family associations affect obesity, specifically how sibling relationships affect a child's weight.

NCI study finds extreme obesity may shorten life expectancy up to 14 years
Adults with extreme obesity have increased risks of dying at a young age from cancer and many other causes including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and kidney and liver diseases, according to results of an analysis of data pooled from 20 large studies of people from three countries.

Discovery of new drug targets for memory impairment in Alzheimer's disease
Research team in Korea has discovered that reactive astrocytes, which have been commonly observed in Alzheimer's patients, aberrantly and abundantly produce the chief inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA and release it through the Best1 channel.

New plant species from the heart of Texas
Collectors found two specimens of the prickly plant in 1974 and 1990 in Texas.

Silicon sponge improves lithium-ion battery performance
A sponge-like silicon material could help lithium-ion batteries run longer on a single charge by giving the batteries' electrodes the space they need to expand without breaking.

Varenicline combined with nicotine patch improves smoking cessation rates
Combining the smoking cessation medication varenicline with nicotine replacement therapy was more effective than varenicline alone at achieving tobacco abstinence at 6 months, according to a study in the July 9 issue of JAMA.

Astronomers bring the third dimension to a doomed star's outburst
In the middle of the 19th century, the massive binary system Eta Carinae underwent an eruption that ejected at least 10 times the sun's mass and made it the second-brightest star in the sky.

Underage drinkers overexposed to magazine advertising for the brands they consume
The brands of alcohol popular with underage drinkers also happen to be the ones heavily advertised in magazines that young people read, a new study finds.

Transmission of hepatitis C virus following antiviral treatment
A recent study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation indicates that blood from patients with trace amounts of HCV RNA is able to cause infection in an animal model.

Beautiful but a threat: Tropical fish invasion destroys kelp forests
The migration of tropical fish as a result of ocean warming poses a serious threat to the temperate areas they invade, because they overgraze on kelp forests and seagrass meadows, a new study concludes.

EPA funds free, online environmental enforcement training
Funded by a grant from the US Environmental Protection Agency, the Bill Blackwood Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas launched a free, online training program to strengthen civil and criminal environmental and public health enforcement efforts at the local, county, state, and tribal levels.

The Lancet Global Health: Incidence of childhood tuberculosis could be 25 percent higher than previous estimates
New estimates indicate that over 650,000 children develop tuberculosis (TB) every year in the 22 countries with a high burden of the disease -- almost 25 percent higher than the total number of new cases worldwide estimated by WHO in 2012.

Contradictory findings about the effect of the full moon on sleep
According to folklore, the full moon affects human sleep. International researchers are trying to determine whether there is any truth to the belief.

LJI develops new approach to identify genes poised to respond in asthma patients
In a study published yesterday in the scientific journal Nature Immunology, a group at the La Jolla Institute led by Pandurangan Vijayanand, Ph.D., identify new genes that likely contribute to asthma, a disease that currently affects over 200 million people world wide.

AAU launches STEM education initiative website, announces STEM network conference
The Association of American Universities (AAU), an association of leading public and private research universities, today launched the AAU STEM Initiative Hub, a website that will both support and widen the impact of the association's initiative to improve the quality of undergraduate teaching and learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields at its member institutions.

Study finds wide variation in use of minimally invasive surgery in US hospitals
A study published on the today finds wide variation in the use of minimally invasive surgery at hospitals across the United States, despite better outcomes with minimally invasive surgery compared with traditional open surgery for many common procedures.

Using sand to improve battery performance
Researchers at the University of California, Riverside's Bourns College of Engineering have created a lithium ion battery that outperforms the current industry standard by three times.

Huntington's disease protein helps wire the young brain
A team led by Duke researchers has uncovered a surprising new role for the Huntington's disease protein: it helps wire connections in early brain development.

Study shows link between inflammation in maternal blood and schizophrenia in offspring
Maternal inflammation as indicated by the presence in maternal blood of early gestational C-reactive protein -- an established inflammatory biomarker -- appears to be associated with greater risk for schizophrenia in offspring.

Removing gall bladder for suspected common duct stone shows benefit
Among patients with possible common duct stones, removal of the gall bladder, compared with endoscopic assessment of the common duct followed by gall bladder removal, resulted in a shorter length of hospital stay without increased illness and fewer common duct examinations, according to a study in the July 9 issue of JAMA.

Individuals who are extremely obese have higher rates of mortality
Class III obesity is linked to higher rates of mortality, according to a study published in this week's PLOS Medicine.

Scripps Florida scientists uncover new compounds that could affect circadian rhythm
Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute have discovered a surprising new role for a pair of compounds that have the potential to alter circadian rhythm, the complex physiological process, present in most living things, that responds to a 24-hour cycle of light and dark.

Poll finds health most common major stressful event in Americans' lives last year
A new NPR/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation/Harvard School of Public Health poll released today that examines the role of stress in Americans' lives finds that about half of the public (49 percent) reported that they had a major stressful event or experience in the past year.

Three reforms to protect California's cap-and-trade policy
Researchers at the Energy Institute at Haas find California air-quality regulators can prevent cap-and-trade price spikes and market manipulation with three straightforward reforms.

A hotspot for powerful cosmic rays
An observatory run by the University of Utah found a 'hotspot' beneath the Big Dipper emitting a disproportionate number of the highest-energy cosmic rays.

Ancient arachnid brought back to life
A stunning video based on fossils of a 410-million-year-old arachnid -- one of the first predators on land -- recreates the animal walking.

Record levels of solar ultraviolet measured in South America
A team of researchers in the US and Germany has measured the highest level of ultraviolet radiation ever recorded on the Earth's surface.

Highlights for 2014 national meeting of world's largest scientific society
Journalists registering for the American Chemical Society's (ACS') 248th National Meeting & Exposition this summer will have an abundance of material to mine for their news stories.

A Crohn's disease-associated gene expression profile and microbial community
A new study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation identifies a specific gene expression profile and microbial community associated with Crohn's disease.

New research unit for dangerous hospital germs
The antibiotic-resistant bacterium Acinetobacter baumanii often causes fatal nosocomial infections.

Three NASA satellites dissect powerful Typhoon Neoguri
NASA's Aqua, TRMM and CloudSat dissected powerful Typhoon Neoguri as it moved through the Northwestern Pacific Ocean and affected southern Japan.

Time to rethink foreign policy?
In a new book, political scientist Barry Posen makes the case for a more limited US military strategy.

Advances in mollusk parasite culturing methods drives research
Researchers at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences dug into the last 70 years of peer-reviewed publications about protozoan parasites that infest bivalve mollusks and found that when an organism can be cultured in the laboratory, a three to 10 fold increase in papers and greater understanding result.

Sandalwood scent facilitates wound healing and skin regeneration
Skin cells possess an olfactory receptor for sandalwood scent, as researchers at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum have discovered.

Preterm babies more likely to survive in larger newborn care units
Premature newborns are 32 percent less likely to die if they are admitted to high volume neonatal units rather than low volume, according to new research.

Logging and burning cause the loss of 54 million tons of carbon a year in Amazonia
A study conducted by scientists in Brazil and the United Kingdom has quantified the impact that selective logging, partial destruction by burning, and fragmentation resulting from the development of pastures and plantations have had on the Amazon rainforest.

What aggravates hippocampal neuronal injury in acute cerebral ischemia?
Yaning Zhao and her colleagues, Hebei United University, China induced transient whole-brain ischemia by four-vessel occlusion in normal and diabetic rats.

Cinnamon may be used to halt the progression of Parkinson's disease
Neurological scientists at Rush University Medical Center have found that using cinnamon, a common food spice and flavoring material, can reverse the biomechanical, cellular and anatomical changes that occur in the brains of mice with Parkinson's disease.

Satellite sees newborn Tropical Storm Fausto being 'chased'
Tropical Storm Fausto was literally born yesterday and strengthened to a tropical storm quickly.

Updated: In the UK, signs of severe maternal sepsis should be regarded as an obstetric emergency
In the UK, about 50 pregnant and postnatal women develop life-threatening severe maternal sepsis (infection of the blood or 'blood poisoning') for every woman who dies from the condition, according to a study from UK researchers published in this week's PLOS Medicine.

Six cases where big data can reduce healthcare costs
In a new research study published in Health Affairs on July 8, 2014, researchers highlight some of the clearest opportunities to reduce costs through the use of big data.

Industry group release testing recommendations for oligonucleotide-based therapeutics
A group of industry and regulatory scientists developed new nucleic acid-based therapies and released consensus recommendations for evaluating the pharmacological safety of oligonucleotide therapeutics.

Boston University researchers receive NIH funding for genetic research in Alzheimer's disease
Boston University School of Medicine received major funding from the National Institute on Aging as part of a national effort to identify rare genetic variants that may protect against and contribute to Alzheimer's disease risk.

Latest quantum field theory on graphene and topological insulators
The discovery of graphene and topological insulators realizes in the laboratory many exotic and non-perturbative phenomena proposed in the realm of high-energy physics and mathematics.

Antibiotics after gall bladder surgery do not appear to reduce risk of infection
Among patients who underwent gall bladder removal for acute calculous cholecystitis, lack of postoperative antibiotic treatment did not result in a greater incidence of infections, according to a study in the July 9 issue of JAMA.

Earthquakes explained? New research shows friction and fracture are closely related
Overturning conventional wisdom dating back to da Vinci, Hebrew University of Jerusalem researchers found that fracture -- how things break -- and friction -- how things slide -- are closely related.

Minimally invasive surgery underused at many US hospitals
Hospitals across the country vary substantially in their use of minimally invasive surgery, even when evidence shows that for most patients, minimally invasive surgery is superior to open surgery, a new study shows.

Gene mutation may lead to treatment for liver cancer
Two genetic mutations in liver cells may drive tumor formation in intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma.

Laboratory models suggest that stretching forces shaped Jupiter moon's surface
Processes that shaped the ridges and troughs on the surface of Jupiter's icy moon Ganymede are likely similar to tectonic processes seen on Earth, according to a team of researchers led by Southwest Research Institute.

Growing old with HIV: Age-related diseases are bigger problem for African American women
For African American women in their 50's and 60's, self-managing their HIV as they age is proving to be less of a challenge than dealing with age-related diseases such as diabetes or hypertension and socioeconomic and emotional aspects of aging.

The impact of big data on health care: Health Affairs' July issue
Health Affairs explores the promise of big data in improving health care effectiveness and efficiency in its July issue.

Solar energy gets a boost
A perspective article published recently by UC Riverside chemists in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters reviews the chemists' work on 'singlet fission' in which a single photon generates a pair of excited states.

A possible pathway for inhibiting liver and colon cancer is found
A group of scientists from Spain, the UK and the United States has revealed the structure of a protein complex involved in liver and colon cancers.

New data shows proprietary calcium and collagen formulation KoACT® superior for bone health
Data presented at April's Experimental Biology 2014 Annual Scientific Meeting shows that KoACT, a dietary supplement that combines a proprietary formulation of calcium and collagen is optimal for bone strength and flexibility in post-menopausal women.

NASA-JAXA's new precipitation satellite sees first Atlantic hurricane
The Global Precipitation Measurement Core Observatory flew over Hurricane Arthur five times between July 1 and July 5, 2014.

Better visualizing of fitness-app data helps discover trends, reach goals
University of Washington researchers have developed visual tools to help self-trackers understand their daily activity patterns over a longer period and in more detail.

Shining light on the 100-year mystery of birds sensing spring for offspring
Biologists at ITbM, Nagoya University have identified for the first time, a key photoreceptor cell deep inside the brain of birds, which takes the role of eyes in humans by directly responding to light and regulates breeding activity according to seasonal changes. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to